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Crossover Prog • Poland

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Lion Shepherd biography
LION SHEPHERD was formed in 2014 in Warsaw (Poland) by Kamil HAIDAR (vocals, lyrics) and Mateusz OWCZAREK (electric guitars, acoustic guitars).

October 25, 2015 the band released debut album ''Hiraeth''. It's a mix of ethnic world music, melancholy prog and a modern TOOL-esque heaviness with the Middle Eastern vocals and motifs. The album got a very positive response, earned high notes and good reviews from Polish and foreign music portals, communities and magazines.

From October 15, 2015 band toured with RIVERSIDE and The SIXXIS in Great Britain, Germany, Portugal and France.


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Lion Shepherd: Hiraeth [CD]Lion Shepherd: Hiraeth [CD]
Firma KsiÄTgarska Jacek Olesiejuk
$24.32 (used)
LIOSH 2017
$13.83 (used)
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LION SHEPHERD discography

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LION SHEPHERD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 11 ratings
3.73 | 14 ratings

LION SHEPHERD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LION SHEPHERD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LION SHEPHERD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LION SHEPHERD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Brave New World / Fly On


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Heat by LION SHEPHERD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.73 | 14 ratings

Lion Shepherd Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's Christmas! And LION SHEPHERD sounds like it could have been one of the titles given to JESUS but it's not. Still he's called the GOOD SHEPHERD and the LION of the tribe of Judah so there's that. LION SHEPHERD are a band out of Poland although you would think they are from the Middle East. They use a variety of ethnic instruments giving us that vibe. It truly is an album that's a bit of a paradox for me though. The acoustic tracks and passages with the ethnic instruments are okay although I'm just not really into acoustic music. When they become electric and more powerful they do bring RIVERSIDE to mind and I'm really into this. The vocals sound so commercial sounding, I just don't like them except when he sings on some of the more powerful songs with reserved vocals bringing Duda to mind. So yeah a bit of a love hate with this one but overall I can't hit 4 stars, I'm just not that into it. Too much that I don't like.

"On The Road Again" features a strummed ethnic instrument that's acoustic as the vocals join in. Drums too in this catchy piece although it's not my thing. Electric guitar before 2 minutes as I hear a hint of SPOCK'S BEARD with the vocals and sound. A toe-tapper and I like the bass around 3 1/2 minutes. "Heat" again starts off with a stringed ethnic instrument with both drums and percussion. Not a fan of the vocals here. A brief electric guitar solo starts before 1 1/2 minutes.

"Code Of Life" features lots of beats with guitar as the vocals join in. Bass to the fore after a minute. It picks up big time before 2 minutes reminding me sadly of some Christian band I used to listen to. Too commercial. I do like the guitar starting before 3 1/2 minutes but it doesn't save the song for me. "When The Curtain Falls" is better than the first three songs but it's still not that great. Contrasts between the mellow and the more powerful sections continue throughout. The harmonies late remind me of Country music.

"Dream On" is where it starts getting good. When I first spun this album I actually stopped it after the second track and sampled the following tracks because I just wasn't into it and wondered if it was mostly acoustic the rest of the way. It wasn't. This is very exotic sounding with percussion and female vocal melodies as the male vocals join in. He sounds like Duda here, so much better. I like this a lot along with those female vocal melodies that really add to the sound here. It's priceless when the electric guitar-like ethnic instrument mimics the vocal melodies that are high pitched from traditional Middle Eastern music. Pretty cool. Love the female vocal melodies that end it too.

"Fall" has some depth to the sound which I like as my speakers vibrate. Sadly when the music kicks in with vocals after 35 seconds it quickly goes down hill because of the vocals. Catchy but too commercial sounding. Not a fan. "Storm Is Coming" opens with drums and acoustic guitar as male vocal melodies join in. Electric guitar too as it becomes more powerful before a minute. Reserved vocals and a calm follow quickly and this sounds better.

"Dazed By Glory" is a top three song for me. Guitar, percussion, bass and reserved vocals. I like this. It becomes heavier 1 1/2 minutes in. That ethnic instrument that is high pitched and guitar-like comes and goes. I'll skip to the last song "Swamp Song" then return to my favourite song on here. So "Swamp Song" has reserved vocals and a catchy acoustic guitar melody with percussion. A full sound follows before 2 minutes but it's still fairly mellow. Nice guitar solo after 4 1/2 minutes.

"Farewell" is by far my favourite song on here and I can only imagine a full album full of songs like this. When it begins it reminds me so much of RIVERSIDE and Duda that I feel a lot of emotion. Absolutely gorgeous. It settles back to a more restrained sound just before a minute. Love when it kicks back in hard at 2 minutes. Some emotion again 3 1/2 minutes in. Electric guitar before 5 minutes and check out the ending and tell me this doesn't sound like Duda.

A mixed bag for my tastes no doubt. Rave reviews can be found all over the Net though so take my thoughts with a grain of salt please. 3 stars.

 Heat by LION SHEPHERD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.73 | 14 ratings

Lion Shepherd Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars One of the benefits of having built up contacts over the years, is that sometimes I receive albums that I wouldn't have otherwise have come across. One day I was talking to my good friend and fellow writer Olav Bjørnsen in Denmark, and he told me that he had a duplicate of the new album by Lion Shepherd, and would I be interested in hearing it. A while later it turned up in the post, and I was impressed even before hearing it as here was fold out digipak that opened out so it formed a cross, with plenty of information on all sides, the booklet pasted into the top section, and the CD in the middle. A lot of effort and money had gone into this, and it is rare for a band to have that much spent on them unless they are quite special.

I undertook some research, and was somewhat surprised to discover that the guys were Polish, based around singer Kamil Haidar and Mateusz Owczarek (electric guitars, acoustic guitars, Irish bouzouki). They were joined on the album by Łukasz Adamczyk (bass), Sławek Berny (drums, percussion), Kasia Rościńska (backing vocals) and Wojtek Olszak (keyboards). The reason I was surprised was that musically this certainly sounds as if its roots are in the UK and the US as well as the Middle East, and I firmly expected the band to come from one of those two countries. They themselves describe their music as a "mix of world music, trance, progressive rock, blues, and Middle Eastern motifs. In addition to traditional European instruments, there is the Syrian oud lute, the Persian santur, and various Indian and Arabic percussion instruments." It is like nothing else I have ever heard from Poland, mixing and melding styles from many musical forms into something that is layered, polished, melodic and almost poppy on the first hearing, but with percussion and underlying musical motifs that transcend any particular genre or culture.

That this album is a masterpiece is never in doubt, that it is firmly one of my albums of the year is also something that isn't even up for debate. Each song brings a new delight, a new style, a new passion, and is one of those where the class and power shines through from the beginning to the very end. I knew it was special when I saw the packaging, I just didn't know how very special it was. This is essential.

 Hiraeth by LION SHEPHERD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.20 | 11 ratings

Lion Shepherd Crossover Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Lion Shepherd's debut shows all their influences! But is that enough?

I had the opportunity to see this band live in Spain, back in 2015 together with Riverside and The Sixxis. They are pretty good live, with a surprisingly good sound and more than sufficient skills.

There is also an undeniable overall quality on Hiraeth, even with a couple of very good songs. But listening to this album it's impossible not to have the impression that the band did not show its full potential. The songs are lacking some sort of progression. They are not adventurous enough to appeal the true progressive fans, but also too complex to mainstream audiencies.

The vocals of Kamil Haidar are the absolute protagonist here, together with the good guitar work of Mateus Owczarek. The rest of the band just make a good and professional work, but nothing really remarkable.

Hiraeth opens wih Fly On, a good entry to the band imaginarium and sort kind of summary of the album's style. Catchy melodies, strong vocals and good guitar solos, with an ethnic oriental feeling that automatically brings acts like Orphaned Land to mind. Lights Outs offer the most intimate side of the band, with melloy guitars and a fine acoustic solo, while Brave New World is a hard rock bullet with a catchy chorus. A little too simplistic, but effective and a good song for concerts.

Music Box Ballerina sadly can't maintain the good level of the three previous tracks, resulting in a boring and a little too pretentious crossover prog song, with an odd touch of bands like Deadsoul Tribe. I'm Open is not related with Pearl Jam (sorry for the bad joke...), it's a song in the style of Opeth's Damnation, a bit forgettable. Past if Mirror is nonetheless the best song of the whole album, with fantastic guitar melodies and anoher catchy chorus suitable for live acts.

Wander is also the best slow song in the album, with anoher good vocal work from Haidar. Infidel Act of Love has some nice melodies, but it's too boring and superficial despite it's interesting melodic change towards the end, and the same can be said for Smell of War, a song that promises a lot with the growls and strong riffs wich reaches an abrupt and odd ending... This could have been a fine progressive metal song, guys!

The mid-tempo Strongest Breed ends in a misterious and intimate way... Not a really proper ending in my opinion, but I can't say it's a bad song.

Conclusion: Hiraeth is a good album, but far for brilliant. It lacks some sort of complexity or real progression in its songs. It's like the band was not brave enough to develope it's whole potential to make a really memorable and deep prog metal album. The result is an odd but interesting mixture of pop, metal and oriental music that will surely please both folk and prog metal lovers. And that's all, sadly.

But like I said, I think that Lion Shepherd are full of potential, good ideas and a strong live performance. So let's hope the best for Heat, their 2017 release!

My rating: ***

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition. and to Tuzvihar for the last updates

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